Overage_Underage in quantity ordered in the Printing Industry. Quantity ordered verses quantities shipped is the often missed subject when a printer speaks to their customer. In the 30 years Unisource Printing and Promotions has been working in the industries we have also missed pointing this out as well.
So what is this Overage/Underage in quantity ordered come from and what does it mean?
From the perspective of the offset printer, producing a particular quantity of printed pieces is not an exact science. For one thing, a printing press is not like a light switch. It cannot be turned on and off to print exactly 50,000 copies, so the printer almost always either prints too few or too many copies.
In addition, there are many different manufacturing activities within the production process. For instance, one side of a press sheet is printed, then the other side is printed after the first dries. Once the presswork is complete, the printed press sheets are transferred to post-press for trimming, folding, collating, stitching, etc. Ink-jet addressing and other lettershop activities may follow. In the course of each production task, printed sheets are wasted. This waste is called spoilage. To eventually hand off to the client a completed press run of 50,000 copies of a publication, a printer must start with many more copies, assuming he will destroy a certain number in each step as part of the manufacturing process.
Within the printing industry, a membership organization of printers called the Printing Industry of America has developed a series of trade customs. Among these is a standard for overage_underage. This is the terminology for the copies of your publication that exceed or fall short of your requested press run.
According to these trade customs, a printer charges a customer for the actual number of copies produced, up to 10 percent more or less than the requested amount. The key here is the word “actual.” This is not an arbitrary number. The printer can only charge for what he hands off to the customer.
So next time you speak with a printer and he doesn’t mention about these overage/underage and quantity billed ask the question. You can request exact quantity but then you can expect your price to be slightly higher since the extra printed pieces will be recycled instead of delivering to you to be used.
This information and more can be found on Printing Industry Exchange website under Overage_Underage in Printing Industry.
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